Photo Information

Afghan National Army soldiers with the 215th Corps stand in formation during their graduation ceremony aboard Camp Shorabak, Afghanistan, July 10, 2014. More than 650 soldiers graduated a completely Afghan-led, six-week combat training course, which consisted of 29 courses varying from hands-on weapons training to rifleman tactics. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Cody Haas/ Released)

Photo by Cpl. Cody Haas

Afghan National Army soldiers train, graduate their own at Regional Corps Battle School for first time in Afghanistan

14 Jul 2014 | Cpl. Cody Haas

Soldiers with the Afghan National Army graduated from a six-week combat training course at the Regional Corps Battle School aboard Camp Shorabak, Afghanistan, July 10, 2014.

This graduation was significant because it was the first combat training course completely operated by Afghan instructors without any influence by coalition forces.

“This was the first Block One class completely run by the ANA,” said Maj. Randall Parker, the 215th Corps Security Force Assistance Advisor Team operations officer with RCBS. “This is a big accomplishment for them.”

Marines with the 215th Corps SFAAT deployed to Afghanistan in May from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

More than 650 soldiers graduated the Block One course that covered hands-on weapon training and rifleman tactics.

“I am very happy today,” said Col. Shah Wali Zaizai, Regional Military Training Center commander, 215th Corps. “It is very important. These soldiers have been through a lot of training, and now they are graduating. We used to have soldiers go through a very basic training school and now we have soldiers that are properly trained by our own instructors.”

The Afghan instructors, who were selected and trained by the 215th Corps SFAAT, operated approximately 29 courses that make up the Block One training course entirely on their own.

The training is a combination of classes and courses where the ANA soldiers learn proper techniques such as how to forcefully enter an enemy-occupied building or compound, ordnance disposal tactics and patrolling methods. 

“I am impressed,” said Parker, a native of Cedar Point, North Carolina. “They want to improve, and they want to get to that next level of training. It was a pleasure watching them grow from day one to graduation. I got to see their skills improve substantially. I am really proud of these students. The courses give them what they need out in the fight. I think the units will appreciate the amount of training going into each soldier now.”

The newly graduated soldiers will join one of 24 kandaks of the four brigades that make up the 215th Corps in Helmand and Nimroz provinces.